7 spots for your opt-ins (instead of pop-ups!)

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of pop-ups. They may be effective for growing your list, but they’re also disruptive to the user experience. Personally, I think it’s more important to keep your visitors happy. If they like what they see, they’ll still join your email list — and they’re more likely to stay on it, since they’ve had some time to get to know you first.

The main benefit of pop-ups is that they can’t be overlooked, so you can reach people who may not have realized you had an email list. So how can you make sure your opt-ins are noticed without annoying your visitor with a pop-up? Here are a few places to consider putting your opt-ins:

1. Home page

The home page is where you introduce yourself and tell people what you’re all about. So why not put your opt-in there? Make it a part of your story. I use this on my own home page. I have a short intro that not only shares what my site is about but also leads right in to my opt-in. It’s the first step in getting to know who I am and what I do.

2. Site footer

What happens when your visitor hits the bottom of the page? They’re probably leaving your site. Remind them you have an email list and invite them to keep in touch!

3. After a blog post

People who love your blog posts will probably love your email list, too. Invite them to receive more content from you once they’ve finished reading your blog post by including an opt-in at the end of your post.

4. In your RSS feed

How many people are reading your blog through an RSS feed and never clicking through to your site? With the WordPress SEO plugin, you can add text to the beginning or end of every post in your feed. Or, you can simply just include the text in every post you publish.

5. On forms

People leaving a comment or contacting you through your contact form are already giving you their email address. Give them the option to opt-in to your email list while they’re at it! I like the Newsletter Sign-Up plugin for adding a checkbox opt-in to your comment form. Gravity Forms integrates with a number of mailing list providers to add opt-ins to your contact forms (and make it a bit easier to customize your regular opt-in forms!). It’s rather pricey but offers a lot of great features for businesses.

6. In your email signature

How many emails do you send a day? And how many of those are to people who are already invested in your business — current clients, past clients, potential new clients, readers, even friends and family? A little note in your signature can remind them that you have an email list, if they aren’t already signed up.

7. On its own page

If you don’t have a dedicated page for your opt-in, take a few minutes and create one now! Having a dedicated opt-in page makes sharing a lot easier. Instead of telling people to look in your sidebar, or scroll down to your footer, or search for your opt-in wherever it is, you can link them to your dedicated page, where the information is right in front of them.

I don’t want you to get so hung up on how it looks that you skip out on this. Write an intro to tell people what it’s all about, then copy and paste embed form code from your provider. Then start sharing. Link to it in your email signature and RSS feed. Tweet it out. If you want to get a little fancy, use the Coming Soon Pro plugin to set up your page. In the Advanced tab, there is an option to use the plugin as a landing page and only show it on one selected page on your site (pro version only, not free).

Finally, if you absolutely must use pop-ups, I recommend WordPress PopUp and PopupAlly. WordPress PopUp allows you to set a number of conditions, from the number of times it’s shown to how much of a delay before it shows. It also has an option to allow the user to click a button to never see the popup again. PopupAlly is an exit intent popup, which means that it tracks the user’s mouse movements and shows the popup when it appears the user is about to close the site.

Do you have any suggestions to add? Tweet me @elembee_ and let me know!

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